Bibliomania Day and a meme!!!

March 20th was Bibliomania Day but for us every day is one, isn’t it? But whats interesting is the reason behind this day. I had never heard of this until I read it on Veens blog and since she has tagged me and because it looks interesting, I’ll try to answer a few questions. But before that a little background on this day.

Over more than twenty years, Stephen Blumberg stole more than 23,000 rare books from 268 libraries, a collection that was estimated to be worth between five and twenty million dollars. According to William Moffett, an expert in bibliokleptomania, “in terms of the number of libraries raided and the number of volumes known to be stolen, Blumberg is the No. 1 thief of books in American history.” Continue reading…

Interesting, isn’t it?

Are there any books you would like to beg, borrow, or steal?
Oh yes!!! So many. Borrow? Not really, but beg and steal? Oh yes. I like to keep my books.

Are you addicted to trips to Borders or the public library?
Back home I was addicted to Landmark bookstore. Here in Singapore, I’m addicted to the Library. Now a days 90% of the books I read are from the library. It is kind of helping me get over my fixation of owning books. Its a slow process though 🙂

Do you have a way to remember what books you have read?
Goodreads and Shelfari. It’s so much easier.

When did your love of books begin?
In my teenage years with Beauty and the Beast and Nancy Drew’s.

What is a favorite book?
Oh please!!! I am not answering that.

Do you still have in your possession a book borrowed, but not returned to its rightful owner?
Yes!!! Round the world in 80 days. I and my sis borrowed it from a neighbor when we were kids and then we had a fight over something and then they moved homes, so yes, its still with me.

What’s the most in library fines you have owed?
Not yet, I’m very punctual in returning books.

Do you loan books out to others?
Yes, but only to those who know how to handle it. If I loan it to someone and they return it in a bad condition, that’s the end of it. I will never loan a book to that person again. I can never give books to people who don’t know how to respect them.

Go ahead, tag yourself.

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On another note, I think it’s high time I list down the Challenges I will be participating this year. I might add in a couple more but for now, this is it.

2010 Challenges

Once Upon a Time (March 21st to June 20th) South Asian Authors Challenge

A Book Blogger Appreciation Week Meme!

Those who don’t know about Book Blogger Appreciation Week, please come out of your rock 🙂

Thank you so much Amy for organizing such a wonderful event.

This is the meme from the BBAW blog.
1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?
finding like minded people. I always itched to talk about books but very few people around me read. So the highlight would be discovering so many bloggers who not only talk about books but are also interested in what I have to say. For me that’s sooo cool.

2)What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?
Ohhh…everybody. Whenever I ask a question, I definitely get a reply from somebody. I have got so many questions answered that way. But one name that stands out is Nymeth’s. She is such a sweet and lovely girl. She has answered so many of my questions, one was regarding discworld, one was something do with Ursula Le Guin’s series and just yesterday she told me why The Handmaid’s tale is considered Science Fiction.

But honestly, everyone is so helpful, generous and nice around here.

3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?
None I think. Although I didn’t participate last year, I did watch everything from the sidelines. This year I want to experience it 🙂

What’s on your desk Wednesday?

Here’s how to go about it:
1. Grab a camera and take a photo of your desk! Or anywhere you stack your books/TBR pile. And no tidying! Add this photo to your blog.Tag at least 5 people! Come back here and leave a link back to your photo in the Mr. Linky.
2. List at least 5 BOOKISH things on your desk (I’m thinking your TBR pile or books you haven’t shelved…) List at least 5 NON BOOK things. (I’m thinking some of some of the more unusual items on your desk/table?) Tag at least 5 people to do the same. Come back here and leave your link, so we can come and visit your blog. Or add your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog.

Do you really want to know? Well, have a look anyway.

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I have 2 views of my desk, vertical and horizontal. To view individual items in close-up (as if anyone would want to); click on the second pic to enlarge it.

Please ignore the age-old monitor, I have been meaning to change it but really, I like it like this. I don’t like huge screen monitors. Flat screen? Well, that would be something worth considering. But I don’t fuss over it.

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So my desk is messy, isn’t it? Say it, I know it is. Its almost embarrassing.

5 non-bookish things
1. An empty Tea mug.
2. Lakme Moisturizer. This is the one thing I would carry with me if there would be a rule that allowed me to carry only one make-up item. Not that I would call a moisturizer a makeup item. It’s a necessity, for me. But I don’t have any explanation of why it’s on my desk instead of the makeup shelf.
3. My cell phone.
4. Lots of CD’s here and there. Mostly movies, some music. And yes, I don’t keep my CD’s lying like clutter. I do have a separate shelf but that’s in another room, so it’s convenient to keep my most used CD’s close.
5. A Pen Stand. (on the right)

5 bookish things:
1. Another  pen stand with all my bookmarks other than a few scattered here and there.
2. Books of course. These keep on changing almost everyday. As you can see my bookshelf is a part of my desk, so I can keep on shuffling books as and when I like. I can’t seem to find any more bookish things. I have a box where I keep all the media material that comes with the books, but that won’t fit on my desk. I don’t keep a journal too, so I guess that’s it. I’ll give you the names of the books though. I was trying to decide what to read next, that’s the best part 🙂
1. The Secret Daughter (was writing a review for this)
2. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (I was waiting forever for the paperback, finally I found it 🙂 )
3. The Sweet Potato Queen, book of Love
4. Say you’re one of them by Uwem Akpan
5. Behind Every Illusion
6. Almost Single

And yes, I kept my blog open on purpose :). I don’t keep staring at my blog all the time.

What else? That’s it. If you see anything interesting and would like to know what it is, just ask. As if 🙂

Give this a shot if you feel like. It’s just another fun, frivolous and good for the mood meme.

Reading meme…

I’ve seen this meme around and find it really interesting. So I’ll give it a shot. I have sort of combined Jackie’s and Eva’s meme.

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Lisa Kleypas. If my library didn’t stock all Sidney Sheldon and Nora Roberts books, theirs would be the max I would own. After Lisa Kleypas, I would say Jane Austen. I own almost 4 books by her but have read only, one Pride and Prejudice.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
None. I don’t own multiple copies of any books. Fortunately I remember all the books I own, except I sometimes get confused with the classics.
 
3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Nope

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I won’t say I’m in love with a character but I do like Mr. Darcy from P&P a lot and Rhett Butler from Gone with the wind comes a close second. I like all Lisa Kleypas heroes too. There is something about the mysterious outcasts I must say. Other than that I like Elizabeth from P&P and Scarlett again from GWTW.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?
My Girl by Patricia Hermes. I might have read it 4-5 times and cried each time.

6. What was your favourite book when you were ten years old?
I never read when I was young. I started reading somewhere around the 7th Grade.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Sorry, I’m not giving names 🙂

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Many actually. Jane Eyre, Legends of Pensam and so on and so forth. Please don’t ask me to name one.

9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
ummm…Anne of Green Gables?

10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
Oh…please, I don’t know. All this prize winning books stuff is tangent to me.

11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Shantaram. But they are already making a movie on it. May be, Nefertitti by Michelle Moran. It would be fun to watch. Just imagine, you’ll get to see all those pyramids and temples and tombs of ancient Egypt.

12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
The Alchemist

13. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
I haven’t completed the most difficult books I had to read. Midnight’s Children and Savitri by Rabindranath Tagore.

14. Roth or Updike?
Haven’t read either.
Where should I start?

15. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Haven’t read Eggers but I like David Sedaris, kind of.

16. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare, just because I’ve read one book of his.

17. Austen or Eliot?
Never read Eliot but love Jane Austen.

18. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.
The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax. I have noticed that most of what I read is by female authors, although it’s not intentional.

19. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.
I think Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe.

20. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?
Sushi for one by Camy Tang

21. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?
Does Ariel Sabar (author of My father’s Paradise) count? Well, he isn’t from the above places, but his father is from Israel.

22. Any other ‘marginalized’ authors you’ve read lately?
What does marginalized mean? Please enlighten me people.

Give it a shot if you feel like.

8 things…

I have seen this meme floating around and I thought I might as well give try it. Btw, I wrote this on Sunday.

8 Things That I’m Looking Forward to:
1. Rains. But summer has just started so there’s a lot of time for that. But it’s unusually hot this time. I think every year the severity of the heat increases. I don’t know what’s up with that.
2. When I become permanent at my job.
3. A new Shahrukh Khan movie. Shahrukh, I hope one of your typical masala movie releases soon.
4. I feel like my life is in a deadlock situation right now. I want everything to sort out and I am looking forward to something good in that front. High hope, but still.
I couldn’t go beyond 4 points. How sad is that. I’ll update this when I think of something. 

8 Things that I did Yesterday:
1. Went to Chung-Fa for dinner. It’s my all time fav Chinese restaurant here.
2. Watched ‘The Reader’. Loved it, it’s an amazing movie.
3. Finished the book ‘Triumph of Deborah’. It was a good book.
4. Started reading My Father’s Paradise. So far so good.
5. Made a plan with girlfriends to meet today (On Sunday).
6. External hard disk stopped working. I was really worried. I somehow managed to restore 80% of the data, but the folders are all messed up, I’ll have to arrange them properly
7. Applied Henna to my hair. My hair has got all nice highlights now 🙂
8. What else? I don’t remember doing anything else. Yes, cleared up my Google Reader a bit.

8 Things That I wish I could Do:
1. Visit any place I want to the minute I think of it. Be it Africa or Nepal.
2. Continue my Kathak clasics.
3. Play the guitar really well.
4. Read 300 pages in an hour.
5. Cook like a chef and enjoy it too.
6. Be invisible when I want to.
7. Rewind time.
8. Take decisions without hurting anyone.

8 Television Programs That I Watch:
I don’t watch a lot of television except on weekends and even then I watch whatever happens to be on. Mostly re-runs.
1. Cooking with Kylie Kwong.
2. Discovery Wildlife. It’s on most of the time.
3. The Haunting.
4. While you were out.
5. Dance India Dance. I don’t watch all the episodes, only those that happen to re-run on weekends.
6. Friends. Again re-runs. I can watch Friends anytime. I even own DVD’s of a few seasons.
7. No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. I just love this guy.
8. 80 Wonders of the World. It comes on FOX history. I try to watch it whenever I can. In the last episode I remember the host Dan went from Jordan to Israel and finally to the oldest church in Ethiopia. It was fascinating.

This was more difficult than I thought. Tag yourself if you feel like it.

Penmanship Tag

Okay, here’s another interesting tag from Melody.
I don’t remember last time I wrote anything more than a couple of lines. I do write my names on my books but I don’t think that counts 🙂

Anyway,
Here are the rules: (lifted from Melody)
1. Write down who tagged you.

2. Answer these:
your name / username / pseudo
right-handed or left-handed?
your favorite letters to write?
your least favorite letters to write?
Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
3. Tag five persons.

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So any handwriting analyzer out there???

A little something about me…

This ‘5 questions’ meme has been going around for quite some time and I thought why not do it too. So Terri sent me some questions to know me better. I don’t like questions that require one line answers, so I was thrilled when she sent me multipart questions that I could answer in length if I wanted to. And you all know how I love to rant 🙂

1. Describe where you live – could be your city or country, your home, your neighborhood, your climate, flowers, trees – whatever you think will give us a good picture of where you call home.
I live in India, probably one of the most colorful places to live in. My city, Pune, also called Oxford of the East was also known as the pensioner’s paradise or retirement heaven, but not anymore. It has become crowded with lots and lots of development over the last few years and I can see it’s heading the Mumbai way soon. I hope that doesn’t happen.

ganpati2I lived in the “old city” for a long time. Old city literarily means the older part of the city, the core, where the city originated from. Whenever there was any festival, small or big, it was celebrated with gusto. There used to be loud speakers with full sound on every street for any celebration. Our balcony faced the main road and we loved watching Ganesh Chaturthi processions the entire day. It was fun and happening. Now I live in a “Posh” locality, a society with a swimming pool, a club house and a gym. But it’s boring. Even during Holi there is absolutely no noise. People do celebrate it early in the morning but isn’t the way we used to celebrate it. Moreover it’s very quite with no vehicles honking below, no street vendors screaming on top of their voices. But it’s still nice although a little different.
 
India is a tropical country so we enjoy 3 seasons, winter, rainy and summer. And I like it that way. I just wish it would snow though.
 
2. When you were a child, what was your favorite food?  What’s your favorite food now?
I think the favorite past time for most Indians is Bollywood and food. My mom is a very good cook, excellent in fact. When we were young she used to cook everything at home. She even made ice-creams.
 
pani20puriI used to love pani puri as a kid. It’s basically a snack which you get on road side eateries or stalls. One dish has around 5-6 puri’s in it. But when my mom made it at home, she made so many that we got tired of eating. She doesn’t make them anymore as they are a lot of work and I am not sure I can eat that many now. But the smell of puri’s and mint leaves and boiled potatoes wafting through the house is divine.
During one of our extended family gatherings, one of my uncles taught my mom how to make something called ‘Chicken chilly’. It’s something I love even now. I think it’s a Chinese dish, Indianised though.
 
3. I see on your blog that you like to perform (me too!) – what kind of music do you perform? Do you play an instrument?
I LOVE to perform. There is nothing like performing on stage. I have been performing on stage since childhood, be it school plays, group dances, fashion shows, school band or singing competitions. When I was in the school Band, I used to play a flute. There is nothing more soothing than listening to the melody of a flute. Although I haven’t touched a flute for years, I am sure I can play at least a little even now. It is not something you forget. I have taken part in a lot of group dances in school and college as well. And it was pure fun. Nothing like seeing so many people screaming and shouting and enjoying every moment of what you are performing.
 
I remember when I was in college I took part in an inter college singing competition and I and my friend were supposed to sing a duet. I was so scared. That was the first time I ever experienced stage fright. I think it went well but I won’t be able to forget that feeling ever. I never took any of this to a level higher than schools or colleges because I know I lack THAT kind of talent and dedication.
 
4. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 5 years? If you can’t narrow it to just one, pick two or three.
eeeks…Isn’t that the most difficult question ever? But if I have to narrow it down I will list the books that come first to my mind.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Kite runner by Khaled Hosseini
A thousands splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini
I am sure if I think for even a minute more I can come up with at least 10. So I won’t.
 
5. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?  Why did you like it?  What’s the worst one?
I absolutely love watching movies. But I watch so many that I forget which was released which year, so I’ll tell you the ones I watched in 2008, they could be have been released earlier too.
Vantage Point. I loved the concept more than anything else.
Step up to the streets
Madagaskar 2. I am forever a fan of the penguins.
Rab ne banaa di jodi. I could be biased about this one. It’s a Shahrukh khan movie after all. But I did like it.
U, me aur hum. I know many people didn’t like this one. But I loved it.
 
Worst one? Well, when I was in Bangalore, I and J went to watch a late night show. There was this Oscar nominated movie called ‘Death at a Funeral’. So we booked the show for 10.30. During the movie we noticed that all the people in the theatre were laughing except us. I mean how could it be that only both of us didn’t get the humor? We decided that we were very tried and so walked out of the theatre midway. This is the only movie in my entire life that I walked out of.
 
Answering all these questions was fun. I hope you all know me a little better now 🙂
Thanks Terri. You sent me the perfect questions 🙂

A very long post eh? Anyway, if you want to play along just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you 5 questions 🙂

Happy things Meme…

taggedI was tagged by Melody for this Six Happy Things Meme.
Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. List 6 things that make you happy.
3. Post the rules and tag six more people.
4. Let your tagger know when you have completed your mission.
 
6 things huh?

• My family although they are a pain at times 🙂
• My hobbies, be it reading or watching movies, taking long walks or shopping.
• My boyfriend. It’s surprising how much you can love someone even after such a short time (1 year here)
• My Kathak classes. I remember how happy I used to feel for hours afterwards. I don’t go anymore. I left when I went to Bangalore for 6 months. The timings don’t suit me now.
• My friends. I don’t know where I would have been without them.
• Writing. Not always though. But sometimes writing is very therapeutic.
• Discover, NatGeo, HBO, Star Movies, Zee Studio and Disney. I won’t be able to watch Television if not for them.
• Riding on my bike sans Traffic, which is a very rare occurrence.
• Buying books. (That comes under shopping right? Never mind, I think it deserves a separate line)
• Music. With Sonu Nigam. Or Kishor Kumar. Or Rehman. With full sound.
• Internet friends, that means you all.

And oops!!! I stopped counting sometime after 3. And I don’t think I will remove any of the above. Thanks MelodyI had fun writing this 🙂
 
I am really bad at tagging. Okay, let’s see
Huwey and
Hemanshu, I have never tagged you before right? There’s always a first time 🙂

Shakespeare meme

I have seen this meme on many blogs and I am going to do it for the sole purpose of embarrassing myself.

shakespeare9What was your first introduction to William Shakespeare? Was it love or hate?
You know what? I have never studied Shakespeare, neither in school nor college. I have obviously heard many things about him throughout. Proverbs like ‘what’s in a name’ and such are very famous and known to people who don’t even know his full name.
 
But I remember I first became interested in Shakespeare because of Romeo and Juliet. That is one of my favorite stories. I also saw and loved the documentary shown on the History channel on Shakespeare. It was mesmerizing.
 
So I can say I was neutral about Shakespeare.
 
Which Shakespeare plays have you been required to read?
None.
 
Do you think Shakespeare is important? Do you feel you are a “better” person for having read the bard?
I haven’t read the bard. I don’t even know what it means. Reading Shakespeare will make you more learned but I don’t see how it will make anyone a better person.
 
Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?
I have this book called ‘Tales from Shakespeare’. I haven’t read all but from the ones I have read I like ‘A Midsummer night’s dream’ the best. I got the original play after reading that. I must say it is very difficult to understand, but it’s fun and even more fun to read out loud.
 
How do you feel about contemporary takes on Shakespeare? Adaptations of Shakespeare’s works with a more modern feel?
I don’t think I can reply to this.
 
What’s your favorite movie version of a Shakespeare play?
Romeo and Juliet. What can I say? I am romantic at heart. I loved Shakespeare in Love too. I know that’s not a version of his play but just thought I should mention it here.
 
So what do you think? Have I embarrassed myself enough?

If I were an Onion…

If I were an onion, these would be my layers. Nicked from AcidicIce, I thought it was really interesting.

LAYER ONE:
Name: Violet
Birthdate: October 5
Birthplace: India
Current location: India
Eye color: Chocolate brown
Hair color: Black
Height: 5.5 feet
Righty or lefty: Righty
Zodiac sign: Libra
 
LAYER TWO:
Your heritage: Indian
The shoes you wore today: Jute sandals
Your weakness: Books, movies.
Your fears: Losing someone I love, losing my eyesight when I grow old which would mean that I won’t be able to read or watch movies or generally enjoy the beauty around me.
Your perfect pizza: Cheese, lots of it.
Goal you’d like to achieve: Be healthier than I am, learning to drive and join Yoga.
 
LAYER THREE:
Your most overused phrase on AIM: nonsense and get lost!!!
Your first waking thoughts: can I sleep for 15 mins more?
Your best physical feature: My eyes and my hands (I think)
Your most missed memory: college life: carefree and fun.

LAYER FOUR:
Pepsi or Coke: none, I prefer Fresh lime juice and I have taken to Iced tea recently because of J.
McDonald’s or Burger King: Burger King anytime. But we don’t have many Burger King’s, we do have Mc Donald’s almost everywhere though.
Single or group dates: Single with an occasional group dates thrown in.
Adidas or Nike: Any. Doesn’t really matter
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Iced tea
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee: Coffee

LAYER FIVE:
Smoke: Nope. I have smoked a couple of times, once for curiosity, once for a bet, but then I realized that I could get addicted, so no more.
Cuss: Nope
Sing: I love singing. I had taken part in a couple of singing competitions in college. Those were the fun days.
Take a shower everyday: Yes, obviously, what kind of a question is that?
Do you think you’ve been in love: I am desperately and deeply in love.
Want to go to college: No. I am a post grad already. I enjoyed a lot while in college, but I wouldn’t like to go back.
Liked high school: Yes. A lot.
Want to get married: Oh yes!!!
Believe in yourself: Yes, most of the times.
Get motion sickness: No
Think you’re attractive: Yes
Think you’re a health freak: Definitely not
Get along with your parent(s): Yes, kind of.
Like thunderstorms: Yes.
Play an instrument: I used to play flute in my high school band. I can play pretty decently. I had joined a guitar class when I started working, but left due to time constraints. Ok, I left mainly because it was a torture to get up early in the morning on a weekend for the class.

LAYER SIX: In the past month…
Drank alcohol: No.
Smoked: No
Done a drug: No
Made out: Noooo. My boyfriend is away in London. Such questions are not going to be entertained 🙂
Gone on a date: Yes
Gone to the mall: Yes, I do too much of unnecessary shopping anyway.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: No
Eaten sushi: No, not sure I want to either.
Been on stage: In the last month? no.
Been dumped: No
Gone skating: No.
Made homemade cookies: No, I don’t cook.
Gone skinny dipping: No
Dyed your hair: Yes, just layered.
Stolen Anything: No

LAYER SEVEN: Ever…
Played a game that required removal of clothing: No
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yes
Been caught “doing something”: Yessss
Been called a tease: No
Gotten beaten up: No
Shoplifted: No
Changed who you were to fit in: No

LAYER EIGHT:
Age you hope to be married: Before I turn 30.
Numbers and names of children: no children
Describe your dream wedding: Something which only close friends an family attends. I really want only people who would be genuinely happy that I am getting married unlike hoards of people in Indian weddings.
How do you want to die: In my sleep (same as AcidicIce)
Where you want to go to college: I don’t want to go to college
What do you want to be when you grow up: Not applicable
What country would you most like to visit: Africa

LAYER NINE:
Number of drugs taken illegally: 0
Number of people I could trust with my life: 5
Number of CDs that I own: ummm…50, I think, mostly movies?
Number of piercings: 4
Number of tattoos: 0, I want to get one someday
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: none
Number of scars on my body: none are permanent
Number of things in my past that I regret: 2 is the instant number, I am sure I can come with many if given time to think.
 
Steal it if you like. It’s really fun…